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King County Road Services - Capital Improvement Program

Additional information – Overview

Alvord T Bridge requires frequent inspection

After 99 years of service, the deteriorating Alvord T Bridge was closed on June 5, 2013.

The Road Services Division moved up the closure of the bridge by three weeks at the direction of King County Executive Dow Constantine, after reported observations from staff that suggested oversize load restrictions were not being complied with. The bridge was classified as structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.

The bridge, on 78th Ave. S. near Kent, carried approximately 2,580 vehicles per day across the Green River, and served a light industrial area in Kent and south King County. It was completed in 1914, and rehabilitated in the 1970s. In 1995, it was identified as King County's fourth highest bridge need (in the first year of the newly adopted Bridge Priority Process, King County Ordinance 11693). At the time of its closure, it had one of the lowest bridge sufficiency ratings among bridges in Washington.

King County had increased inspections to two times per year, four times the minimum required by federal standards. These frequent inspections kept us aware of changes in the structure's condition.

Our latest study showed that the bridge was structurally deficient and prone to fractures. The main supports are severely rusted and it should not carry heavy vehicle loads, and load limits for the bridge were posted. It was also functionally obsolete, with narrow travel lanes, low overhead clearance, substandard timber rails, and poor sight distance at its north intersection with South 259th Street.

Updated: June 13, 2013

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